Skin and Ear Infections
One of the most common reasons that owners bring their patients in to see the veterinarian is for skin and ear infections. Contrary to popular belief, these things can happen year round and can also be caused by many things such as parasites, bacteria, food allergies, seasonal allergies, autoimmune, excess moisture from baths or play in water, and other things.
Skin infections can be superficial; just on the surface layers of the skin, or can be deep; affecting multiple layers of the skin. They can be very uncomfortable for your pet and can cause severe itching, hair loss, and inflammation.
Accurate diagnostics are a must in order to find underlying causes of skin conditions in order to properly treat them. This will allow for the best and often fastest return to normal for your pet.
Skin scrapes, cultures, allergy testing, and biopsies in certain cases can all be utilized in order to find an underlying cause and select the best treatment options for your pet.
Similar to skin infections, ear infections can cause severe discomfort for your pet and if left untreated can cause life-long damage to the ear canals. In certain cases, deafness can occur. Just like with skin infections, there are several ways that ears can become infected. Seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect an ear infection in your pet.
Common signs to look for would include shaking of the face or pawing at the ears. Occasionally your pet may try rubbing their ears on the ground or cry when you are petting their head. In severe cases, you may see your pet circling with or without a head tilt. Pets with long hanging ears that cover the canals are often more predisposed to getting ear infections.
The proper diagnostics can help your veterinarian identify the underlying cause of an ear infection in your pet. This can include a thorough physical exam, ear cytology, culture, diet elimination trial, allergy testing, and video otoscopy. Speak to your veterinarian right away for the best recommendations on preventing these infections so your pet can live a happy and healthy life.